The Cayman islands have many attributes for those wishing to either set up home here full time or for people looking for an overseas second home in a perfect paradise location. Some of these attributes are obvious and don’t need much discussion: our warm tropical climate, our crystal waters, our award-winning, world-famous Seven Mile Beach, our friendly people and our laid-back lifestyle with a healthy mix of sophisticated dining, nightlife and attractions make Cayman a clear choice for discerning buyers. Couple that with our close proximity to the US, the fact that we are an English speaking nation, we enjoy a high standard of living and the choice gets even clearer.
A sound real estate investment
But there are so many more reasons why people choose to invest in Cayman real estate. If you are looking for purely financial investment, then you would be hard-pushed to find another jurisdiction comparable with what we have to offer. It is a well-known fact that investors like stability and we have extremely stable governance, as a Dependent Overseas Territory of Great Britain and a Governor who is the representative of the Queen. Under this stable umbrella, we have locally elected members of government who are also adept at promoting stability, with a strong private/public relationship across industries, including real estate.
It makes sense financially to buy here because our government does not charge any annual property tax. The only government charge you will find against your Cayman Islands property is a one off stamp duty payment, due at closing. If you intend to pass your Cayman Islands home onto your loved ones, be assured that there is no inheritance tax to pay either. Neither is there any capital gains tax to worry about. Another important fact to bear in mind is that Cayman does not impose any restrictions on foreign ownership, as is the case in other destinations.
Our local market is heavily dependent on our North American neighbours. Our Cayman Islands dollar is pegged to the US dollar (1 CI dollar equals 1.25 US dollars), and our biggest market for tourism in the US, with American visitors making up the bulk of both our stayover and cruise ship visitors. Now that the US economy has improved since the downturn of a few years ago, so, too, has the Cayman economy moved on an upward trajectory. Our financial services industry is one of the most important globally and our tourism industry welcomes millions of visitors each year.
We have a robust real estate industry and we are also making great strides with our medical tourism industry, with the impressive growth of Health City Cayman Islands. This means we have multiple individuals but connected sectors to our economy, each bringing in different revenue streams which help to further enhance the robustness of our economy as a whole.
Homes on Seven Mile Beach – an ongoing challenge
I want to shift gears here because the issue of finding a condo on Seven Mile Beach is now getting to a crucial stage. For many months now I have been talking about the dwindling inventory along the highly prized Seven Mile beach corridor. This led to a dearth of condos for sale, which has, in turn, led to significant price increases. A case in point is the prices of at least two separate locations that have increased by 15% in just six months.
Cayman’s overall infrastructure is highly sophisticated and enticing for residents. Our road system is continually being upgraded to a very high standard, our restaurant offering all across the island is second to none and our communications infrastructure is also solid. George Town is a beacon for shoppers with high-end duty-free stores offering a wealth of goods. Camana Bay is a town that continually grows in size and stature, housing the island’s cinema, as well as great shops, restaurants, children’s entertainment and shady play areas, cool gardens, as well as high-end office space, and has become a central location for the community.
So what’s on offer?
Another fact that may escape many people’s notice when they first decide to buy here is the wide breadth and depth of a variety of properties available. Of course, everyone would like a slice of our magical Seven Mile Beach and there are still some properties available along one of the top-rated beaches in the world, however, they are becoming increasingly fewer in numbers and properties in this area are gradually increasing in price, as word gets out around the globe that this is really a very special location indeed.
But if the multi-million dollar luxury accommodations along our prized real estate are out of your reach, we have plenty more ideal locations to suit buyers looking for gorgeous views, large family homes, centrally-located condos or out of town getaways.
Room for a view
There are some beautiful homes centered on and around Cayman’s North Sound Golf Course, with stunning vistas over the greens and ocean beyond. Plenty of homes overlook the majestic North Sound, a truly unique expanse of water famed for housing Stingray City and the Sandbar, along with all manner of teeming coral life. Homes in these locations are generally $1 million and upwards, but you get a lot for your money – space for your family and enough room for entertaining and enjoying life.
Canal lots and homes dot the North Sound side of West Bay Road, heading all the way up into West Bay. These canal fronted homes not only offer cool breezes and incredible views, they also offer access to the North Sound via boat, should you be looking for a mooring or accessible entry into the ocean.
Value for money
Head along South Sound towards the east of the island and you will come across a number of new developments, from affordable condos with amazing ocean views to more spacious family dwellings that hug their own special part of the island. If you travel even further out towards Savannah you will find plenty of affordable accommodation for families, couples or individuals. The views might not be as spectacular as those on Seven Mile or with a canal or golf course view, but they will still be solid investments and will always equate to a shorter to commute into town when compared to commuting in big cities!
West Bay is another great location for affordable condos and family homes, as well as more upmarket luxury properties with expansive North Sound views. Serviced by excellent road links to Camana Bay and George Town, this is an up and coming location and well worthy of exploration.
There are so many reasons why you ought to buy property in the Cayman Islands, so take the time to look around our wonderful location and discover the delights of Cayman all for yourself.
I would love to hear from you if there are any points of interest as they relate to Cayman’s real estate industry that you would like me to discuss in future articles, or if there are any questions you would like me to answer. Email: James.Bovell@bovell.ky